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Springsteen Archives Checks in With Roy Bittan During ‘What’s Up on E Street?’

July 7, 2020

E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan will be the featured guest on the second episode of “What’s Up on E Street?,” a new online series presented by the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University.

The new series highlights the individual members of the band and how they are dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include how they are spending their days, and how the pandemic is impacting their creativity.

The episode goes live on Tuesday, July 14 at 10 a.m., and can be accessed on the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music website or via the Springsteen Archives’ Facebook page.

“I think it’s important to capture the impact of COVID while it’s actually happening,” said music historian Bob Santelli, who created the series. “Getting impressions and feelings about what’s going on in America these days, especially from members of the E Street Band, will serve a valuable purpose years from now.”

“COVID has touched most every part of the music business,” said Bittan from his home in southern California. “Tours and recording sessions have been cancelled. The whole music scene is on hold. But musicians like me get to play for ourselves and for loved ones. So, I’m keeping busy, but long for the day when things get back to normal.”

Bittan is the longtime keyboards player in the E Street Band. Joining with Springsteen in 1974, Bittan has provided the memorable piano solos in Springsteen’s vast catalogue of songs. “Born to Run,” a Springsteen album steeped in the piano, featured Bittan’s keyboard work on such signature tracks as “Backstreets,” “Thunder Road,” and “Jungleland.” Nicknamed the “Professor” for his studied take on music and his college education, Bittan is also accomplished producer and session musician, having worked with David Bowie, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, and many others.